Cubic Boron Nitride (cBN) abrasive wheels, which are a specially engineered abrasive grain referred to as a superabrasive, typically yield 2,200 - 2,500 parts per dress with one wheel lasting as long
as four to six months.
Dressable vitrified bond CBN grinding tools combine the advantages of other common tool systems in generating gear grinding. Yet despite those technological advantages, there is only a small market distribution of these grinding tools due to high tool costs. Furthermore, scant literature exists regarding generating gear grinding with dressable CBN. This is especially true regarding the influence of the grinding tool system on manufacturing-related component properties. The research objective of this report is to determine the advantages of dressable CBN tools in generating gear grinding.
For over 50 years, grinding has been an accepted method of choice for improving the quality of gears and other parts by correcting heat treat distortions. Gears with quality levels better than AGMA 10-11 or DIN 6-7 are hard finished, usually by grinding. Other applications for grinding include, but are not limited to, internal/external and spur/helical gear and spline forms, radius forms, threads and serrations, compressor rotors, gerotors, ball screw tracks, worms, linear ball tracks, rotary pistons, vane pump rotators, vane slots, and pump spindles.
It isn't for everyone, but...
Within the installed base of modern CNC gear profile grinding machines (approximately 542 machines worldwide), grinding from the solid isn't frequent, but a growing number of gear profile grinder users are applying it successfully using CBN-plated wheels.
In the quest for ever more exacting and compact commercial gears, precision abrasives are playing a key production role - a role that can shorten cycle time, reduce machining costs and meet growing market demand for such requirements as light weights, high loads, high speed and quiet operation. Used in conjunction with high-quality grinding machines, abrasives can deliver a level of accuracy unmatched by other manufacturing techniques, cost-effectively meeting AGMA gear quality levels in the 12 to 15 range. Thanks to advances in grinding and abrasive technology, machining has become one of the most viable means to grind fast, strong and quiet gears.
Because of the better thermal conductivity of CBN abrasives compared to that of conventional aluminum oxide wheels, CBN grinding process, which induces residual compressive stresses into the component, and possibly improves the subsequent stress behavior. This thesis is the subject of much discussion. In particular, recent Japanese publications claim great advantages for the process with regard to an increased component load capacity, but do not provide further details regarding the technology, test procedures or components investigated. This situation needs clarification, and for the this reason the effect of the CBN grinding material on the wear behavior and tooth face load capacity of continuously generated ground gears was further investigated.
The merits of CBN physical characteristics over conventional aluminum oxide abrasives in grinding performance are reviewed. Improved surface integrity and consistency in drive train products can be achieved by the high removal rate of the CBN grinding process. The influence of CBN wheel surface conditioning procedure on grinding performance is also discussed.
Cubic boron nitride (CBN) finishing of carburized gearing has been shown to have certain economic and geometric advantages and, as a result, it has been applied to a wide variety of precision gears in many different applications.
In critical applications such as aerospace drive systems, however, any new process must be carefully evaluated before it is used in a production application. Because of the advantages associated with this process, a test program was instituted to evaluate the load capacity of aerospace-quality gears finished by the CBN process as compared to geometrically identical gears finished by conventional grinding processes.
This article presents a brief description of the CBN process, its advantages in an aerospace application, and the results of an extensive test program conducted by Boeing Helicopters (BH) aimed at an evaluation of the effects of this process on the scoring, surface durability, and bending fatigue properties of spur gears.
In addition, the results of an x-ray diffraction study to determine the surface and subsurface residual stress distributions of both shot-peened and nonshot-peened CBN-ground gears as compared to similar conventionally ground gears are also presented.
Spur gear surface endurance tests were conducted to investigate CBN ground AISI 9310 spur gears for use in aircraft applications, to determine their endurance characteristics and to compare the results with the endurance of standard vitreous ground AISI 9310 spur gears. Tests were conducted with VIM-VAR AISI 9210 carburized and hardened gears that were finish ground with either CBN or vitreous grinding methods. Test conditions were an inlet oil temperature of 320 K (116 degree F), an outlet oil temperature of 350 K (170 degree F), a maximum Hertz stress of 1.71 GPa (248 ksi), and a speed of 10,000 rpm. The CBN ground gears exhibited a surface fatigue life that was slightly better than the vitreous ground gears. The subsurface residual stress of the CBN ground gears was approximately the same as that for the standard vitreous ground gears for the CBN grinding method used.
Modern manufacturing processes have become an ally of the product designer in producing higher quality, higher performing components in the transportation industry. This is particularly true in grinding systems where the physical properties of CBN abrasives have been applied to improving cycle times, dimensional consistency, surface integrity and overall costs. Of these four factors, surface integrity offers the greatest potential for influencing the actual design of highly stressed, hardened steel components.